Deciduous conifer tree 20 - 30 m high, needles ca. 15 mm long.
Female cone ca. 2.5 cm diameter, male cones in pendant racemes.
In the early 20th century, the entire population of Metasequoia glyptostoroboides
consisted of just a few thousand trees in the Sichuan, Hubei, and Hunan provinces of
China. By 1948, seeds from a single grove along the Yangtze River had produced 1500
seedlings in Europe and the USA. These populations are of very low genetic diversity, and are
therefore of low fertility. Thanks to the recent cooperation of Chinese botanists, new genetic
stock has been introduced to the USA and European populations.
Pollen light micrograph:
The grain is about 30 µm in diameter and somewhat thickened on the anti-papillate 2/3
of the grain. Occasionally a ridge or rim sepparates the thick and thin portions of the grain.
The pollen of Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood) is similar to that of
the other taxodiaceous grains (Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae are combined in recent floras,
even though their pollen is distinct).
Papillate Inaperturate Conifer Pollen
After Erdtman, 1957.
Pollen scanning electron micrograph (SEM)
Production and Dispersal:
Wind pollinated with moderate production and dispersal (?).
Moderate to poor preservation (?).